"It was a marriage of cuisines," says Bloomberg food and wine editor Peter Elliot, about Le Cirque chef Sirio Maccioni's invention of Pasta Primavera. Elliot says the most authentic version, according to Maccioni, is from the "New York Cookbook" by Molly O'Neill (Workman, 1992).
1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
2 small zucchini, unpeeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch lengths
4 asparagus spears (about 5 inches long), peeled, trimmed and cut into thirds
1 1/2 cups green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh red or green chile pepper, or about
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
3 cups seeded, diced ripe tomatoes, juices reserved
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli, zucchini, asparagus and beans until crisp but tender, about 4 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 1 more minute. Drain the vegetables and immediately rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain again, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
In a large nonreactive skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. When hot, add the mushrooms and chili pepper and saute.